7/22/2014 7:13 P.M. ET
Vazquez impressing Red Sox in field, at plate
Rookie catcher a quick learner, communicates well with pitching staff
By Jamie Ross / MLB.com
TORONTO -- With the Red Sox's win Monday, the team improved to 5-0 when rookie catcher Christian Vazquez is behind the plate.
Vazquez is the first Red Sox catcher to win each of his first five starts behind the plate, and the first player in the Major Leagues in 31 years, since the Brewers' Bill Schroeder won his first six in 1983.
Vazquez, who made his Major League debut July 9, was not in the starting lineup Tuesday against the Blue Jays. David Ross handled the catching duties.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said the rookie backstop has shown himself to be a quick learner in his short time in the Majors, asking questions and taking advice from veterans like Ross and pitcher John Lackey, who took Vazquez under his wing in Monday's win.
"I thought [Monday] night was a great example," said Farrell. "Because there was a time in the second or third where maybe he and [Lackey] weren't on the same page, and they were able work through it in the inning, and then to hear conversations between innings and see it play out the following innings, it was a great moment."
Part of what's impressed Farrell about Vazquez is his willingness to take trips to the mound to work with whomever is pitching.
Aside from that confidence, Farrell also believes his young catcher has shown an exceptional ability to receive the ball.
"I think [Monday] night he dropped one pitch. It might've been the first in five games he's dropped," he said. "He's been very impressive on the receiving end."
The 23-year-old has also fared well at the plate, going 6-for-18 with three doubles and seven RBIs.
Pedroia Sox's Heart and Hustle Award winner
TORONTO -- Dustin Pedroia was named the Red Sox's winner of the 2014 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday. It's the fifth year in a row the second baseman has received the distinction, which is chosen by the Major League Baseball Alumni Association.
Pedroia was the overall winner last year, beating nominees from 29 other clubs.
The award is given to active players who show a passion for the game and best exhibit its values, spirit and tradition. It's the only award in the Major Leagues that is voted on by former players.
As the season winds down, fans, all alumni and active players will vote to select the final winner from the 30 team winners.
Pedroia was the first Red Sox player to win the overall award in 2013. A four-time All-Star, Pedroia is in good company among past winners, which include Mike Trout, Torii Hunter, Roy Halladay, Albert Pujols, Grady Sizemore, Craig Biggio and David Eckstein. Biggio won the award in '06 and '07.
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.